Banknotes and Coins

Features of Barbadian Currency

All Barbadian banknotes are manufactured using the same process and are generally similar in design.

 

2007 Series

The Paper (Upgraded)

The corners of the note have been strengthened to increase the durability and lifespan of the note.

The Size

The size remains the same as that of previous series.

The Design

The design elements remain the same as those of the 1997-1999 series.

The Printing Process (Upgraded)

The notes will continue to be printed using the intaglio printing process, however the large value numeral found on the left side (front view) of the note is more raised than in previous series, allowing the visually impaired to more easily differentiate between denominations.

The Watermark

The watermark remains the same as that of previous issues.

Electrotype (New Feature)

The electrotype is a secondary watermark found on the left side (front view) of the note, next to the map of Barbados. Lower denominations – $2, $5 and $10 – have the image of the broken trident as the electrotype, while higher denominations – $20, $50 and $100 – have the image of the Pride of Barbados flower as the electrotype.

The Security Thread (Upgraded feature)

The security thread on all denominations has been changed.

  • Lower Denominations ($2, $5, $10): the thread is “windowed” – partially visible when lying flat – and has CBB as well as the denomination $2, $5 or $10 printed at intervals. The thread is not a straight line like in previous series, but rather is made in a wave-like in appearance. Its edges and printed portions are highly reflective. When the note is held up to light the missing portions become visible and form a complete thread.
  • Higher Denominations ($20, $50, $100): the thread is “windowed” – partially visible when lying flat and has CBB$20, CBB$50 or CBB$100 printed on it. When the note is held up to light the missing portions of the thread appear and create a solid line. The thread is less reflective than threads in previous issues; however under UV light the thread fluoresces blue while the text fluoresces yellow.

The See-Through Feature

The see-through feature remains the same as those in the 1997-1999 series.

Foil Elements (Upgraded feature)

The visible portion of the security thread on lower denomination notes ($2, $5, $10) is made of highly reflective foil, while the security thread on higher denominations ($20, $50, $100) is less reflective than the thread used in previous series. Other foil features – the blue foil pelican on the $50 and the gold foil dolphin on the $100 – remain the same.

The UV Feature (Upgraded feature)

On higher denomination notes ($20, $50, $100), the security thread and its text fluoresce under ultra violet light – the thread glows blue while the text glows yellow. In addition, the waves near the flying fish in the centre of the note and the Coat of Arms fluoresce green and yellow under ultra violet light. Other areas continue to react to UV light as they did in the 1997-1999 series.

 

1997-1999 Series

The Paper

Barbadian banknotes are not printed on wood pulp paper – the type of paper used for notepads and in photocopiers and printers. Instead Barbados’ bank­notes are printed on paper made of cotton fibre, which is more durable.

Banknotes feel neither waxy nor smooth, but have a slightly coarse feel, and the paper will not disintegrate when wet.

The Size

Unlike the EURO banknote or the British Pound Sterling, all denominations of Barbadian banknotes are the same size: 150mm x 65mm.

The Design

The basic design of all denominations of Barbadian banknotes is uniform. The back of all notes features a vignette of the Parliament buildings and the careenage, as well as half of the see-through feature on the extreme right. On the front of the note, while there is some variation by denomination, there are common elements:

  • The denomination in numerals on all four corners
  • A unique serial number on the top left and bottom right
  • Half of the see-through feature on the extreme left
  • The words “Central Bank of Barbados” and a statement that the note is legal tender near the centre of the note
  • The denomination in words
  • The Coat of Arms
  • A flying fish
  • The signature of the governor in office at the time of printing
  • A portrait of an outstanding Barbadian on the right side

The portrait differs by denomination, as does the colour of the note and the image represented in the see-through feature (with one exception)

  • $2 – the note is blue with red elements, features the portrait of John       Redman Bovell and has a windmill as the see-through feature
  • $5  – the note is green with brown elements, features the portrait of Sir Frank Worrell and has a cricket ball and stumps as the see-through feature
  • $10– the note is reddish brown with green elements, features the portrait of Charles Duncan O’Neal and has a dolphin as the see-through feature
  • $20– the note is mauve/purple with orange elements, features the portrait of Samuel Jackman Prescod and has a pelican as the see-through feature
  • $50– the note is orange with blue-green elements, features the portrait of Errol Walton Barrow and has the broken trident as its see-through feature
  • $100– the note is grey, blue and red, features the portrait of Sir Grantley Adams and has a dolphin as the see-through feature

The Printing Process

Barbadian banknotes are printed using the intaglio printing process, which results in the ink being raised above the surface of the paper and the notes having a coarse, uneven feel.

The ink on banknotes is colourfast and will never run or bleed when wet.

The Watermark

The watermark is found on the left side (front view) of all banknotes and is only visible when the note is held up to light. The watermark, which is the same on all denominations, features a map of Barbados and a few waves. The watermark has lighter and darker areas and should not look like a mere outline of the island.

The Security Thread

The security thread is found on the left side of all banknotes. The appearance of the security thread varies depending on the denomination of the note.

  • Lower denomination notes ($2, $5, $10): The security thread is a thin black line that is visible only when the note is held up to light.
  • Higher denomination notes ($20, $50, $100): The security thread is “windowed” – partially visible when the note is lying flat – and has CBB$20, CBB$50 or CBB$100 printed on it. The visible portion of the thread is made of highly reflective silver foil. When the note is held up to light, the missing portions of the thread appear and create a solid line.

Nb. Previous series of 20-dollar notes do not have a windowed thread. In these series, the security thread is thicker than in lower denomination notes and has CBB$20 printed on it but is only visible when the note is held up to light.

The See-Through Feature

On the left side (front view) of all banknotes, there is a see-through feature: a partial image that corresponds to another partial image on the back of the note. When the note is held up to light, the see-through feature forms a complete image.  The image differs depending on the denomination of the note:
$2   – a windmill
$5   – a cricket ball and cricket stumps
$10 – a dolphin
$20 – a pelican
$50 – the broken trident
$100 – a dolphin

Foil Elements

On the higher denomination notes – $50 and $100 – the Central Bank has included highly reflective foil elements that cannot be easily duplicated by photocopiers and colour printers. On the front of the 50-dollar note, there is a blue pelican overprinted with the Pride of Barbados flower on the right side of the note, and on the 100-dollar note, the image is a gold dolphin, also overprinted with the Pride of Barbados flower. On both denominations,as well as the $20 note, the windowed portion of the security thread is silver metallic foil.

The UV Feature

In newer editions of Barbadian banknotes, certain areas fluoresce under ultra violet light. The serial number, the iridescent elements, the Coat of Arms, and the flying fish all glow, and the value of the note in numerals appears. It is important to note that certain conditions, e.g. washing, ageing, soiling can increase or decrease the level of fluorescence.

Circulation Coins

The specific alloy with which a Barbadian circulation coin is made as well as the size of the coin depends on the coin’s denomination. Likewise, the images that appear on the coins vary depending on the denomination.

One-cent coin

The one-cent coin is 18.861mm in diameter, 1.565mm thick and weighs 2.78 grams. The coin is round in shape and has a smooth edge. The reverse of the coin features a replica of the broken trident and the words one cent; the obverse features the Coat of Arms, the word barbados and the year in which the coin was minted.

Previously, the one cent coin weighed 2.50 grams.

Five-cent coin

The five-cent coin is 20.975mm in diameter, 1.625mm thick and weighs 3.46 grams. The coin is round in shape and has a smooth edge. The reverse of the coin features a replica of the South Point Lighthouse and the words five cents; the obverse features the Coat of Arms, the word barbados and the year in which the coin was minted.

Previously, the five cent coin weighed 3.75 grams.

Ten-cent coin

The 10-cent coin is 17.773mm in diameter, 1.354mm thick and weighs 2.09 grams. The coin is round in shape and has a reeded edge. The reverse of the coin features a replica of the tern and the words ten cents; the obverse features the Coat of Arms, the word barbados and the year in which the coin was minted.

Previously, the ten cent coin weighed 2.29 grams.

Twenty-five-cent coin

The 25-cent coin is 23.664mm in diameter, 1.826mm thick and weighs 5.10 grams. The coin is round in shape and has a reeded edge. The reverse of the coin features a replica of the Morgan Lewis Windmill and the words twenty-five cents; the obverse features the Coat of Arms, the word barbados and the year in which the coin was minted.

Previously, the twenty-five cent coin weighed 5.65 grams.

One-dollar coin

The one-dollar coin is 25.85mm in diameter, 1.65mm thick and weighs 5.95 grams. The coin is heptagonal in shape and has a smooth edge. The reverse features a replica of the flying fish in flight and the words one dollar; the obverse features the Coat of Arms, the word barbados and the year in which the coin was minted.

The current one-dollar coin was first issued on April 5, 1988. Prior to this, the coin had the same design, but was slightly larger.

Previously, the one dollar coin weighed 6.32grams.

 

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